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Tasting China & the World

Friday, August 16, 2019

This talk is part of the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium.

Time and Location

Friday, August 16
Registration:   6:30-7:00 pm
Talk and Q&A:   7:00-8:30pm

Yale Center Beijing
8 Jianguomenwai Avenue, 36th Floor, Tower B, IFC Building (Yong’anli Station, Exit C)

Registration and Fees

Click HERE to register.
Please email If you encounter any payment issues, please attach a screenshot that identifies the issue.

RMB 80 for students and Yale alumni; RMB 100 for others.

This event is free for participants of “The History of the Middle Ages and Global Food Trade” Program.

Walk-ins are not accepted.

Refreshments will be provided.


The language of the event will be Chinese and English, with simultaneous interpretation.

The Event

Join us on August 16 for this exceptional opportunity to explore the evolution of global cuisine.

Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University, and Xiaoqing Chen, director of the most well-known Chinese food documentary, Once Upon A Bite, will share their expert understanding of diverse foods and cultural differences represented by foods from a global perspective, which will lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of food.

The Speakers

Paul Freedman
Chester D. Tripp Professor of History & Yale University

Paul Freedman is professor of history at Yale University where he has taught since 1997 and has served as Chair of the History Department. His primary interests are in the field of medieval European history and the history of food and cuisine, and has produced many related books and articles.

In 2007 Freedman edited Food: The History of Taste, which won a prize from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has been translated into ten languages. This began a series of studies about the role of food in shaping cultures and historical trends. Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (2008), looks at the desire for spices in the Middle Ages and how it led to European exploration and conquest.

Freedman is the author of Ten Restaurants that Changed America (2016), a way of looking at US food history through ten examples, including Chinese and Italian cuisines adapted to American tastes. His new book, American Cuisine: How It Got This Way, will appear in October 2019.

Xiaoqing Chen
Documentary Filmmaker, Food Writer

Internationally renowned documentary filmmaker and food writer Xiaoqing Chen has directed a number of documentaries, including A Bite of China Season I & II and Once Upon A Bite. Currently, he is the Deputy Editor of Tencent video and in charge of DOClabs, a top-level production company.

His dedication and passion led his team and himself to create narrative documentaries artistically and critically. In 2008, holding extensive documentary experiences, he joined Tencent and launched a series of food documentaries. These include Once Upon A Bite, which received over one billion views, and Flavorful Origins: Chaoshan, one of the hottest Food TV Shows on Netflix.

The Moderator

Carol Li Rafferty
Managing Director& Yale Center Beijing

Carol Li Rafferty is the Managing Director of Yale Center Beijing, Co-Founder of Lean In China. She previously worked for the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country's sovereign wealth fund, as Senior Vice President, responsible for strategic and private equity investments.

Carol graduated cum laude from Yale University, with dual B.A. degrees in Economics and International Studies. She received her J.D. degree from Stanford Law School. She is also a China Fellow of the Aspen Institute. In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) selected Carol as a Young Global Leader (YGL), and she currently serves as a member of the YGL Advisory Group, the YGL's global advisory board.

Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium


Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co. Inc. the Yale Center Beijing is pleased to host the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium, which will convene thought leaders from all sectors who, in the spirit of Mr. Greenberg, play pivotal roles in building bridges among China, the U.S., and the rest of the world.

Mr. Greenberg has been a member of Yale Center Beijing’s Executive Council and retired as the Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG). In 2018, he was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal.

Public Event